Rick Wakeman

G'ole!

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The soundtrack to the official film of the 1983 World Cup -- and for a man who also wears a Philadelphia Flyers jersey under his cape, composing a sports-themed album isn't quite as strange as it might seem. G'ole! finds Wakeman experimenting again with the staccato rhythms and percussion of "White Rock," and overlaying this with the broad synth strokes that he developed on "Rhapsodies." The results vary wildly: the music-box chintz of "Latin Reel" sounds better suited to an FAO Schwarz Christmas display. But while it often lacks the virtuosity of his earlier work, Wakeman still kicks a few goals in. "International Flag" has a rousing appeal, as does the title track that closes the album. On "Wayward Spirit," the combination of trilly piano, stately chimes, and oscillating Moogs hearken back to the more nuanced work that he'd accomplished so effortlessly just a few years before.

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